5 Reasons to Visit Bear Valley, California

Hey y’all! Did everyone have a good holiday weekend?

We got back last night after spending ours in Northern California with our pup at a friend’s cabin! It was our second time making the drive up there and man, I wish that place was closer. It’s SO beautiful and relaxing up there!!

We were in Bear Valley, California (not to be confused with Big Bear) and it’s funny because as awesome as it is up there, I feel like most people don’t know about it! Or, at least people from the SoCal region. It’s about 6.5 hours north of LA and east of Fresno, although if you go with a puppy, it may take a bit longer😅

Bear Valley and the surrounding towns have so much to offer, so keep on reading if you’re looking for a new place to explore on the west coast!

Bear Valley Mountain – This is probably the most well-known spot in the area because in the winter it draws a pretty decent skiing and snowboarding crowd! I actually came here on New Year’s Eve two and a half years ago and it’s a nice size mountain when the lower part of it is open! In the summer, there’s a ton of hiking and a nearby river you can canoe, kayak or SUP in. This time we hiked down what’s known as a double black diamond trail in the winter and then hiked up a catwalk. It was crazy to see what’s usually covered in feet of snow! And it was HARD. 

Wine Tasting – One thing I wasn’t expecting when we went up north for the weekend was how popular it is to go wine tasting in Murphys, the biggest (and cutest!) town on the way up to Bear Valley. It’s kind of like Santa Barbara in that there are just a bunch of tasting rooms on the main street, so it’s easy to go from one to the next! We consulted some locals and tasted a few bottles, but Hatcher and Aloria are highly recommended. If you go to Hatcher, be sure to grab a loaf of Todd’s freshly made sourdough, too!

Exploring Murphys – Aside from wine tasting, this town has a ton of great eats like V Bistro, Murphys Pourhouse (awesome beer selection and a huge outdoor section, too), and Alchemy, plus cute shops and some seriously tasty ice cream at Joma’s Artisan Ice Cream. If you bring your pup, they’ll even give you a little cup of their famous vanilla for them!! Ovi tried his first ice cream there and needless to say, he was a BIG fan.

Calaveras Big Trees State Park – If you’re looking to spend some time outdoors looking at some of the most beautiful Sequoia trees that ever existed, come here. It’s a huge park, I’ve been twice now and even though we visited two different areas, I’m sure you could come here 50 times and still have things to see. In the northern part, there’s a walking trail that we did during the winter (SO beautiful but very cold!) and this past weekend we did the 5-6 mile (easy) hike in the south part. It’s about $12 per car to enter the park, just fyi, but the beauty you see inside couldn’t be more worth it.

The Overall Vibe – Bear Valley is nothing like Lake Tahoe or Big Bear, it’s far quieter, much less built up, and draws a different type of out-of-towner! There are a ton of people with second homes that come from the Bay Area and from what I can tell, everyone is pretty low key, casual, outdoorsy and friendly. If you have the opportunity, I definitely recommend renting a cabin in the woods so you can enjoy some local wine and cheese on the porch, dip into a hot tub, and cozy up by the fireplace! And don’t forget to grab a fresh pie and/or cider donuts from The Red Apple on your way up😍

I feel like we have so much more to see and I’d love to snowboard on that mountain in the winter again, so I know we’ll be back soon! Where did you spend your holiday weekend?

xo Jordan

My Summer Bucket List.

I know summer doesn’t technically start until June 20th, but it sure feels like summer already to me 🙂

Dancing for Donuts | Summer Bucket List.

I’ve always been a fan of creating bucket lists for each season, mostly because they’re fun to make and even more fun to cross off. Being an adult definitely means summer is less fun & games than it used to be, but I still love to take advantage of everything the months have to offer. LA is kind of an anomaly in the sense that seasons don’t totally exist here (and yes, the sun does shine year round), but there are a ton of things that happen here only during summer months, like outdoor concerts, movies, and special events. Not to mention the weather is warmer, so you don’t need a sweater to lay on the beach!

Here’s my list for 2017 (so far):

Dancing for Donuts | Summer Bucket List.

 

What’s on your summer bucket list?! Do you like to make bucket lists for each season, too?

xo jordan

My Trip to the Museum of Ice Cream in Los Angeles.

Hi there! If you follow my Instagram, you know I went to the Museum of Ice Cream in Downtown Los Angeles a couple of weekends ago. I wasn’t planning on doing a recap, but I took so many pictures and wanted to share more of them!

Dancing for Donuts | Museum of Ice Cream, Los Angeles.

When I found out a few months ago that the Museum of Ice Cream (originally in NYC) was coming to LA, I knew I had to get my hands on those tickets! I bookmarked my calendar and set and alarm because let me tell you, those bad boys sold out as quickly as Beyonce tickets. I’m so glad we got our hands on some!

Dancing for Donuts | Museum of Ice Cream, Los Angeles.

I think my favorite thing about the museum was how it made you feel like a kid again. It’s kind of like that feeling you get at Disneyland or something when everything feels magical and you have the biggest smile on your face for hours 🙂

Dancing for Donuts | Museum of Ice Cream, Los Angeles.

The museum is essentially 15 or so different themed rooms that are so colorful, bright, and unique. There’s a ton of texture and you can interact with almost everything in the rooms. The pink room in the second room had some amazing pink retro phones – it reminded me of Barbie!

Dancing for Donuts | Museum of Ice Cream, Los Angeles.

It takes about an hour to walk through the entire thing and there are 5 ice cream tastings in total. The first is an earl grey tea biscuit ice cream from McConnell’s that I’m praying I can get my hands on when this is all over. It was unreal!!!

Dancing for Donuts | Museum of Ice Cream, Los Angeles.

We then took a ride on the swing before hitting the banana room. What is it about swings that makes them feel so fun!? I seriously want one in my room someday. Maybe a swinging hammock or hanging chair…that would be AWESOME.

Dancing for Donuts | Museum of Ice Cream, Los Angeles.

Dancing for Donuts | Museum of Ice Cream, Los Angeles.

My second favorite ice cream was this mint chocolate chip mochi! I love mochi so much but I never get it. I definitely haven’t seen any that’s mint chocolate chip flavored, so this was a real treat. So creamy and oddly refreshing, if that makes sense!

Dancing for Donuts | Museum of Ice Cream, Los Angeles.

The room with the popsicles was one of my favorites. This was one of two rooms that I felt could actually be in a modern art museum.

Dancing for Donuts | Museum of Ice Cream, Los Angeles.

The other was the room where you got to taste charcoal cookie dough in a cone!

Dancing for Donuts | Museum of Ice Cream, Los Angeles.

I know that sounds weird, but it was delicious! The charcoal didn’t taste like much, but who doesn’t love cookie dough?!

Dancing for Donuts | Museum of Ice Cream, Los Angeles.

And then there was the giant gummy bear room 🙂 There was also a gummy bear tasting in here, in case someone has never tried gummy bears before…(hoping that’s literally no one since gummy bears are the BEST.)

Dancing for Donuts | Museum of Ice Cream, Los Angeles.

Okay my absolute favorite room though is one you may have predicted…

Dancing for Donuts | Museum of Ice Cream, Los Angeles.

The sprinkle pool room!!!!

Dancing for Donuts | Museum of Ice Cream, Los Angeles.

So they tell you that these aren’t real sprinkles (which makes so much more sense), but actually little slivers of plastic. The bottom of the pool is squishy too, so it feels nice on your feet! Everyone goes in small groups and gets to play and take pictures in the pool for about 3 minutes each. It was so fun!!

Dancing for Donuts | Museum of Ice Cream, Los Angeles.

The last ice cream tasting was this pancake vanilla ice cream sandwich. I love that they dyed the pancakes pink!!! This one was so delicious, I might have to try making it at home!

Dancing for Donuts | Museum of Ice Cream, Los Angeles.

The final room had another awesome swing that was colored like a neopolitan ice cream sandwich. Seriously though, where can I find this thing for my house?!?!

Dancing for Donuts | Museum of Ice Cream, Los Angeles.

Alright y’all, that’s it for now!! Hope everyone is having a great week and treating themselves to something wonderful for humpday!

Dancing for Donuts | Museum of Ice Cream, Los Angeles.

xo Jordan

Weekend Recap: 24 Hours in San Diego.

Helloooooo party people! Did everyone have a good weekend? I hope so!!

My dad came into town Saturday morning for conference in San Diego, so I picked him up at LAX before we grabbed lunch and headed south! I wanted to show him the neighborhood I work in and then took him to Hot’s KitchenHot’s Kitchen in Hermosa for some grub. Their tacos are THE best. If you’re ever in the area, go go go.

Dancing for Donuts | Weekend Recap: 24 Hours in San Diego.

Our drive to SD took a bit longer than we had expected (ohhhh LA traffic), so we didn’t make it to the zoo like we wanted to, but that was okay! We checked into the hotel (the Grand Hyatt) and rested for a few before we walked over to dinner.

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My dad had read an article about Ironside Fish & Oyster, so we made a reservation there a few weeks ago. Let me just tell you, this place is a MUST. Like literally do not skip this one if you’re in San Diego, I can’t say enough wonderful things.

Dancing for Donuts | Weekend Recap: 24 Hours in San Diego.

We started 2 delicious drinks, green lip mussels (YUM) and their famous octopus & chorizo appetizer. For dinner, we both had two delicious fish filets, mine was Escolar and dad’s was Thresher, with lemon butter and a side of greens.

Dancing for Donuts | Weekend Recap: 24 Hours in San Diego.

We also ordered the charred broccolini and romanesco with mint pistachio pesto on the side. So freakin’ delicious. We were obviously super stuffed after dinner, but couldn’t pass up their new panna cotta dessert with angel food cake, rhubarb, and strawberry ice cream. UNREAL. Then, Sunday morning we woke up early and ventured out to Coronado Del Mar.

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I don’t know about you, but I had literally never heard of this place and apparently Walt Disney modeled off one of the famous hotels at Disneyland after the Hotel del Coronado. So, obviously, we had to go see it and it turned out they were doing a Sunday brunch buffet (aka the DREAM).

Dancing for Donuts | Weekend Recap: 24 Hours in San Diego.

After stuffing our faces with insanely good omelettes, fruit, pastries, fresh juice and coffee, we walked for about 3 miles on the beach. The weather couldn’t have been more perfect – sun and a slight breeze.

Dancing for Donuts | Weekend Recap: 24 Hours in San Diego.

Apparently the beach by the hotel is also ranked #7 in the country or something and for good reason! I wish I had brought a swimsuit and had more time, but I’m hoping to go back very soon!

Dancing for Donuts | Weekend Recap: 24 Hours in San Diego.

I had to head back to LA in the early afternoon since the traffic was already building, but spending 24 hours with my dad was the best. My parents don’t come out west very often, so when they do it feels extra special 🙂

Dancing for Donuts | Weekend Recap: 24 Hours in San Diego.

Hope your Monday is short and your coffee is strong. Be back soon!

xo Jordan

A Word on the Weekend.

Aaaaand just like that, we’re back to Monday.

Dancing for Donuts | Friday Finds.

Every other Thursday, we have a meeting at work where we discuss our recent wins and some things that we’re working on. At the end, we share our plans for the upcoming weekend. Last Thursday, and for the first Thursday in a long time, I realized I had no real, concrete plans. I’ve been on the go quite a bit, and I’m 100% a planner/list-maker, so not having any set schedule seemed almost boring and honestly slightly stressful. After our meeting, I thought about setting up back-to-back friend-dates for both days and tried reaching out to a few people, but when nothing came to fruition I realized I had total freedom for once. And it was so unbelievably nice.

Dancing for Donuts | Friday Finds.

My Saturday consisted of an easy morning in complete with pancakes and homemade lattes, then a solo trip to the gym. Without any time constraints, I was able to do a full on workout while I listened to some of my new favorite podcasts. Afterwards, I took a walk along Main Street in Santa Monica and then met some friends at the beach. For lunch, we went to a new-to-me spot I’ve been dying to try for years, Huckleberry, and it was incredible (see the photo up at the top of this post ^!)

Dinner was a special one, thanks to a gift my parents gave me and my boyfriend back on Christmas. I didn’t take any photos, partially because I wanted to live in the moment and keep my phone away during our time together, but also because (let’s face it) taking photos in a fancy restaurant isn’t exactly the classiest thing ever. I will say, our crab cake appetizer, scallop dinner and pumpkin pot de creme at Cafe del Rey were absolutely to die for. I don’t exactly get to splurge on dinner often, so being able to go to such a beautiful restaurant was a real treat. Thanks mom and dad!!

Dancing for Donuts | Friday Finds.

Sunday we slept in and then decided to make a frittata. Have you ever made one of these?! It was so easy, and so delicious!! I then met a friend from home at the Beverly Hills Hotel for a cup of coffee. This is another place I’ve driven by a thousand times but have never actually gone to! This place just screams Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s to me, I loved it – perfect baby pink with Beverly Hills Hotel written in script on everything, just quintessential old Hollywood vibes. And it’s safe to say I’ll be searching for an exact replica of their palm leaf wallpaper for my next apartment…

Dancing for Donuts | Friday Finds.

Post-fancy coffee, I met one of my best friends for (yet another…) cup of coffee. Since really no one should have 3 cups of coffee before 2pm, I opted for a Golden Milk Latte instead at Cafe If in West Hollywood. I had never been to this cafe before either and it was super cute! Very minimalist and quiet, I think this would be a great hidden gem to work out of someday! That latte was pretty epic too, slightly spicey and lemon-y and very delicious. Dinner was homemade turkey chili + cornbread (I swear by the mix from Trader Joe’s!) while watching the Oscars.

Dancing for Donuts | Friday Finds.

To be honest, I didn’t actually mean for this post to be so much a recap of my whole weekend as an attempt to prove the point that not everything has to be planned every minute of everyday. And, more importantly actually, there are so many things to do and see wherever you may live that you may not even realize. I think we often get caught up in our routines or only go to our favorite places, which I totally think we should still do, but every once in awhile it’s nice to find something new. In 2 days, I visited 4 new places (which is rare for me.) A new place or meal or mini-adventure can make any ordinary weekend feel special. I’m grateful to live in a place with so much to offer, and I’m making a promise to take more advantage of it in the future!

Did you try anything new this weekend?! Let me know in the comments 🙂

xo Jordan

The Little Things.

Dancing for Donuts | Santa Monica

I know I mentioned this in my post last week, but I’ve been making a conscious effort to take notice of the littler things in life. I’ve been spending a lot of time on the west side of LA lately and instead of giving in to the constant road rage that comes with traffic on the 405, I’ve chosen to just enjoy the beauty of being in this change of scenery.

Dancing for Donuts | Marina Del Rey

I know it’s cliche, but getting outside and soaking in some Vitamin D is one of my favorite cures for stress. Taking advantage of the California sun is a priority of mine and the image of a sunset over the city is something is one of the littler things I’ve learned to appreciate. A recent hike to Griffith Park provided me with a view (and a photo opp) that left me speechless.

Dancing for Donuts | Griffith Park

I also managed to squeeze in happy hour with one of my best friends for Dine L.A.’s Happy Hour Week! We went to Little Fork in Hollywood and had the most amazing oysters, burger, ribs and cornbread. Oh and wine, of course 😉

Dancing for Donuts | Little Fork

Well I suppose that’s all for now. As you go out and celebrate Cinco de Mayo (one of my personal favorite holidays), I’ll be here at school learning about Brand Management. Without margaritas. *sigh*

Have a fantastic week and don’t forget to enjoy the little things 🙂